Okay… last long post for a bit, but it’s been a week since I left for Dallas for surgery and I thought I would share the wrap-up from last night’s journal.
First, though I have to say thank you. It’s you fine people with your prayers, thoughts, warm fuzzies and all of that who have made a huge difference over the past week in my universe. It has had far reaching impacts for the better and I’m truly thankful.
Secondly, I got to see the plethora of bluebonnets in bloom. Such a pretty sight and there’s really nothing else like it. The delicate flowers are some of my favorites.
So on to the show…
Surgery Update: Day 5 / 04-04-23
My, oh my. It’s 2157 CDT and I’m done.
It was a very long day. It started around 0300 CDT when I awoke from a drug-induced dead sleep. I attempted to move my head into a position it didn’t wish to go; therefore, I couldn’t get back to sleep and was only able to nap on and off throughout the long day.
I saw Dr. Amirlak this morning after slowly gathering everything we’d (Hubs) moved into the hotel suite in Dallas. I was apparently channelling my inner sloth, but we were not late anywhere. Operating in slow motion is coupled with the “lift restrictions” I have in place. I was told not to lift anything heavier than a jug of milk. I can safely assume my handbag is borderline, but the bag is rather essential to my life and downsizing the weight will have to wait.
Walking you through the major events of my day (with some repetition form the initial post about surgery…) Dr. Amirlak. I truly like the man. He discussed what he did during my surgery. I already read the post-op notes and reviewed the pictures taken during surgery. The lengthy operation was indeed necessary and he described it as “complicated.” I believe this was an accurate and specifically chosen word. I do not believe any amount of medication would have helped my condition (even though I’ve done over 50 combos of meds over the years) due to the facts my greater occipital nerve was being “strangled” by veins and compressed by surrounding fascia and muscle. He set the nerve in a deeper channel and fat from my neck was grafted and set around it as a buffer along with some special nerve protective sheathing. The lesser occipital nerve was similarly done. The 3rd nerves on both sides, which needed to go, are gone. Dr. Amirlak admitted he walked a fine line between the nerve decompression surgery and what a neurosurgeon would do, but I wouldn’t change it. While my head alternates between pain and numb, I can already tell there is a positive difference. There was a lot more I could bore you with, but suffice it to say, I’m feeling “better” tonight. (And my head’s love affair for a good ice pack continues…)
One reason for feeling better is I got the drain out today. I admittedly made a mountain out of a molehill. After snipping the suture holding it in place, it was easily removed. I currently have a hole in the back of my head which will heal in due time. Hubby assured me it’s kinda gross, but getting the drain contraption out of my cranium is already better because I can actually lay down on the ice pack in the way it does the most good.
Dr. Amirlak also discussed the potential scarring. Just for the record, this is surgery #9 and I couldn’t care less about the scars that mark my body. Plus, he’s a plastic surgeon and they already look tons better than most of the others. But I digress…
The other thing that Dr. Amirlak said is I have to do rest, get proper sleep and do the things that I enjoy. I’m also supposed to try to avoid any “trauma” to my head. (He told me about a patient that went to a Bon Jovi concert. The patient was kicked in the head which basically undid everything he did! Like how????) He doesn’t know me that well, but the idea is (at the moment) internally scoff-able. That may be a taller order than the physical recovery from the surgery. I have hurt 24/7 for so long I don’t even really know what I “enjoy” doing as I have done mostly the necessities and not things for “joy” for longer than most humans would appreciate. I’m going to have to have many conversations with myself and God Almighty about letting things go and letting God’s healing hands heal not only my head, but many other parts of life as well.
Another reason for feeling better, though I felt worse most of today, is I’m finally home. Dorothy was indeed correct, “There’s no place like home.” Getting here though, that was an adventure.
When we left the Metroplex, it was a pretty day, just a little breezy. Nothing major, just “typical” spring-time weather in the Lone Star State. However, we were driving “uphill” home while fighting the wind and blowing dirt. For a bit (around the last 150 miles or so,) the only description of the drive was “fugly.” There were a couple of moments which vaguely reminded me of the sandstorm scenes in “The Mummy” and “Hildago.” Couple the winds with low visibility, construction, bumps in the road and all of that kind of thing, the approximate 6 hour drive was a bit “uncomfortable.”
Now, uncomfortable is a word medical professionals use when trying to hedge what a patient will feel. I generally say it with a ton of snark and sarcasm. The usage this time, for me, is no different. It didn’t hurt as if my head were treated as a midnight snack by Cerberus, but the weight sitting atop my shoulders felt as if professional bowlers were using it in a tournament.
It was so amazing pulling into the driveway, followed by the actual physical struggle against the wind to get into the house. (Yes, I’ve got Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” playing in the background…)
After warm and happy greetings by the actual dogs with whom I live, I accomplished two things with help from Hubs. Laundry. I have a load in the dryer and one in the washer. I also managed to unpack some other things and put the lighter stuff away. If nothing else, I was somewhat productive today. Yay me? But I also got to see Eldest and her fiancee as well as love on the grands, who are back home after an extended stay with their Auntie.
Anyway, it’s time for bed and meds are kicking in. It’s just a quick update for this saga I’m participating in. I love you all And I do mean that. Lot’s o’ love and deep heart-felt thanks.